Myanmar: Thousands march for workers’ rights

published 3 April 2017 updated 11 April 2017

On 26 March, more than 7,000 workers from all over Myanmar took part in a demonstration called by the Confederation of Trade Unions Myanmar to urge Myanmar’s public authorities to respect workers’ holidays and rights.

Workers from the Magway Region, the Bago Region, the Sagaing Region, the Mandalay Region, the Ayeyarwaddy Region, the Chin State, the Kachin State, the Mon State and the Kayin State joined the rally organised by the Confederation of Trade Unions Myanmar (CTUM) in front of the Town Hall of Yangon, the country's largest city.

Members of education workers’ organisations demonstrated together with members of agriculture and farmers’ organisations, industrial workers’ organisations, transport workers’ organisations, construction and wood workers’ organisations, aquaculture workers’ organisations, mine workers’ organisations, and service workers’ organisations. The number of demonstrators was larger than the 5,000 people expected by CTUM President Maung.

Key demands

The CTUM is still awaiting a response from the government to its demands that:

  • The Buddhist New Year’s holidays in April be reinstated to 10 days and reduced to five days as planned. The trade union condemned the fact that no workers’ representatives were involved in the decision-making process over the holidays, and stressed that the reduction in leave impacts particularly those who work a long distance from their homes.
  • The government work through a national tripartite dialogue forum on issues directly impacting on the workers.